Devon Venus Awards – Celebrating Working Women

Monday 24th October, 2016|Category: News

The Venus Awards, also known as the “Working Women’s Oscars” launched their 2016 Devon campaign on the 17th May at Plymouth Science Park. This was the first part of the journey for our Director of Marketing, Leila Nottage. Little did she known that she was about to embark on a fantastic journey with an inspiring group of women!

The Awards first launched in Dorset in 2009 by founder Tara Howard, they have since developed in South Hampton, Devon, Birmingham, Brighton & Sussex, Bristol and Somerset, the Isle of White, Portsmouth and Thames Valley!! Read more about Tara and her amazing career on her website, from an ex commercial pilot to entrepreneur you’ll be fascinated!

Tara began the awards to celebrate the vital contribution that women in business make to the regional and national economy. They are unique in that anyone can nominate a friend, client or family member.

Now in its fourth year in Devon, the Venus Awards have proved to be ever popular with the business women of the region, with over 1,612 nominations and 375 applications received in one or more of the 14 categories.

Alexis Bowater is a local legend who once anchored the ITV Evening News and has since gone on to change lives as she was Chief Executive of national charity Network for Surviving Stalking, she not only launched the first National Helpline for those suffering, but also successfully campaigned to have stalking included in The Istanbul Convention to combat Violence Against Women and Girls. Alexis now owns Bowater Communications and despite a busy schedule, Alexis became a Regional Partner for the Devon Venus Awards. Alexis said: “This year’s Devon Venus Awards is bigger and better than ever before with record numbers of entries and hundreds of astonishing businesswomen being celebrated for their work and outstanding acumen.”

Having attended the launch, Leila missed the Semi Finalist Announcement earlier in September, but was quickly brought up to speed by the power of Twitter!

The Finalist announcement took place on 4th October at the Saunton Sands Hotel. Alexis said: “Every single nominee for these Awards is a winner and even if they didn’t get through today then their achievements have still been recognised and their hard work lauded. The room today was awash with the peer-to-peer support, mentoring and networking that we know helps businesses grow and it was an honour to meet so many incredible businesswomen in one place together.”

Leila said: “I enjoyed the peaceful drive across Dartmoor and up to North Devon, I am a Mum of twin girls so the quiet journey over what would have been the bedtime, bath time routine was a treat! The hotel is set on the beach and the views were stunning. Alexis greeted me with a cocktail and the evening began. I was the last person to be announced and I was thrilled. I think I went a lobster shade of red and was surprised at how chuffed I felt. When this journey began I really didn’t think I stood a chance of progressing, but I was happy to have been nominated. I am now really looking forward to the big night on the 18th November at the University of Exeter. Colourful frocks have been requested and the company is going to be brilliant. I have met some wonderful ladies through the process and I have massively enjoyed sharing it with many friends. On the 18th I am looking forward to joining such a great celebration of women in business. A huge thanks to Clare Geraghty for nominating me and a big thanks to Alexis for being wonderful and making the journey such fun!”

We will have our fingers and toes crossed for Leila and wish all of the Finalists good luck. Check out the full list of fabulous ladies below:

The Finalists are:

Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management Lifetime Achievement Award
Ros Debenham – Radiance MediSpa
Roz Woodward – Securious Ltd
Leanne Elliot – Certitude Services (TLD) Ltd

Bishop Fleming Director of the Year
Marie Cleave – Educated Recruitment Ltd
Karen Milner – Friary Mill Bakery Ltd
Catherine Morris – The Gro Company

Bond Dickinson LLP Green Business of the Year
Tess Stuber – Beach Schools South West
Kim Stead – twool
Sarah Bryan – SB Holistic

Brend Hotels Customer Service Award
Nadine Stroud – The Training Partnership
Lynette Dare – Flossy and Jim
Sarah Bryan – SB Holistic

Heart FM / This is Global Business Mother of the Year
Rowan Bradford – Water Babies Devon & Somerset
Soo Brizzell-Hogg – Shekinah
Lisa Budd – Create Me Books

Plymouth City Bus Ltd Networker of the Year
Carol McGeary – The Talem Recruitment Group
Jacqui Cornish – Age UK Exeter
Sam Cross – The Independent Living Advisor

Plymouth Science Park Digital Media and Online Business of the Year
Rebecca Garrett – Rebecca Garrett Media Ltd
Jayne Hardy – The Blurt Foundation
Sally Cope – Koru Connections

PR Works Inspirational Woman in STEMM Award
Lorna Dallas – Plymouth University
Kate Doodson – Cosmic
Katie Goode – Triangular Pixels

Sampson Hall Company of the Year
Mole Valley Farmers
Ladram Bay

Santander Employer of the Year
Julie Hawker – Cosmic
Alison Lynch – Chamings Ltd
Nadine Stroud – The Training Partnership Ltd

University of Exeter Business School Inspirational Woman of the Year
Julie Sum – Kensa Boudoir Photography
Kay O’Shaughnessy – Friends and Families of Special Children
Hayley Dann – St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth

Employee of the Year
Clare Geraghty – Barclays
Katy Joy – South Devon College
Katy McKenna – GA Solicitors
Kirsty Miragliotta – Rebecca Garrett Media Ltd
Leila Nottage – The Duke of Cornwall Hotel

Entrepreneur of the Year
Donna Barnes – The Talem Recruitment Group
Susie Chapman – Stolen from Susie
Julie Corcutt – Veg in a Box
Rebecca Marks – Scarlett Entertainment
Roz Woodward – Securious Ltd

Marketing Award
Claire Doyle – Doggy Devon
Jayne Hardy – The Blurt Foundation
Julie Sum – Kensa Boudoir Photography
Lynette Dare – Flossy and Jim
Sally Bell – Effervescent

New Business Award
Maria Bailey – Maria Bailey Planning Ltd
Julia Corcutt – Veg in a Box
Amber Haigh – Ambers Angels Trust
Helen Plumridge – King Recruit Ltd
Clare Stirling – Made with Maturity

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